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Unformatted text preview: ip. In the past women have lacked good-fellowship and sportsmanship
largely because they played no competitive-cooperative games.
I shall not attempt to take up in any detail all the forms of pleasure-excitement seeking. Dancing, music, the
theater and the movies offer outlets both for the artistic impulses and the seeking of excitement. In the theater
and the movies one seeks also the interest we take in the lives of others, the awakening of emotions and the
happy ending. Only a few people will ever care for the artistic wholesale calamity of a play like "Hamlet," and CHAPTER XV. 126 even they only once in a while.
Men and women seek variety, they seek excitement in any and all directions, they want relief from the tyranny
of purpose and of care. But also,--they hate a vacuum, they can usually bear themselves and their thoughts for
only a little while, because their thoughts are often basicly melancholy and full of dissatisfaction. So they seek
escape from themselves; they try to kill time; reading, playing and going to entertainments. In fact, most of
our reading is actuated by the play spirit, and is an effort to obtain excitement through the lives of others.
Humor is a form of pleasure seeking and giving, but depends on a certain technique, the object of which is
to elicit the laugh or its equivalent. The laugh is a discharge of tension, and while usually it accompanies
pleasure, it may indicate the tension of embarrassment or even complex emotional states. But the laugh or
smile of humor has to be elicited in certain ways, chief of which are to bring about a feeling of expectation,
and by some novel arrangement of words, to send the mind on a voyage of discovery which suddenly ends
with a burst of pleasure when the "point" is seen. The pleasure felt in humor arises from the feeling of novelty,
the pleasure of discovering a hidden meaning and the pleasure in the "point" or motive of the story, joke or
 I use this term to include wit, satire and even certain phases of the comic.
Usually, the humorous pleasure has these motives: it points at the folly and absurdity of other people's
conduct, thought, logic and customs. It gives a feeling of superiority...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11